Community group and social care image

Urgent action needed in social care

A decade on from the Care Act, a survey from the Local Government Association has found that urgent action is needed to ensure the continuation of adult social care.

With the Care Act working to improve the way that people can access the care and support that they need, only two thirds of councils are confident of their ability to meet all their legal duties by next year. Around 80% of councils are expecting to reduce spending on other community services to protect their care services, following years of significant underfunding.

Adult social care legislation before the Act had been built up since the 1940s, however it had never been brought together. As the Act did this, it ensured that councils focused on people’s wellbeing and ensuring that preventative measures were introduced, however the last decade has also seen increases to the number of people needing to use care and support, as well as the council underfunding that has long been discussed.

Quote from Darren Roswell of the LGA

The LGA’S Social Care Spokesperson, Cllr David Fothergill, said:

“The Care Act was a beacon of hope for those needing care and support but this hope has faded. A decade on, people are still facing long waiting times for assessments and support, and not getting the full care and support they need.

“We are at a critical point, for people who draw on care, councils and the sector. Councils are doing all they can to ensure they meet their duties under the Care Act – including cutting spending on other neighbourhood services – but many still fear they will not be able to over the coming years.

“This simply isn’t good enough. It isn’t good enough for people who draw on care and support and it isn’t good enough for the care workers who work incredibly hard for very little financial reward.

“Adult social care needs urgent attention. This must be the top of the in-tray for any incoming government.”

In the report released yesterday – titled 10 Years On – the LGA has outlined the issues that adult social care services face, including those that aren’t strictly related to funding. Councillors that contributed to the report also found challenges around recruiting and retaining workers, as well as people having more complex needs.

Due to this lack of confidence in adult social care, the LGA has called for the current government to invest immediately in the service, whilst also bringing political parties together to end the politicisation of social care and deliver real improvements for people who rely on social care.

 

Image credit: iStock

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